Toothpaste is an essential part of our lives. Even if this statement sounds a little bit weird, it’s true. Most of the people brush their teeth at least twice a day, which is the key to a healthy set of teeth, and the most relevant factor of dental health. Washing teeth prevents cavities and other dental problems. It probably happened to you already that you went to a supermarket to buy a toothpaste but you had to spend a long time in front of the toothpaste shelf to make up your mind. Nowadays there are all kinds of toothpastes, and each of them has different effects.
You probably asked yourself already if there is actually any difference between them. Well, many people don’t know what are the most common toothpaste ingredients, and probably they are also not that interested. However, sometimes it’s good to know what are the ingredients that toothpastes contain.
The common ingredients in a toothpaste are the following: fluoride, an antibacterial agent, essential oil for the taste, and other ingredients depending on the kind of the toothpaste. Fluoride is the most essential ingredient, because it fights tooth decay. Most toothpastes contain either sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate. The antibacterial agent is also a very relevant part, it kills bacteria and it prevents them from spreading in your mouth, thus helping overcome gum disease and dental plaque. Some detergents and foaming agents are added to the toothpaste in order to carry away debris and make it more foamy. Some toothpastes contain abrasives like baking soda, and anti-tartar agents. Some of these agents such as tetrasodium pyrophosphate prevent the formation of dental tartar, however, they do not remove it. There are some toothpastes that contain teeth whitening agents and teeth de-sensitising agents.
Nowadays there are many kinds of flavored toothpastes, just to assure that brushing your teeth remains a pleasure. Of course, there are special toothpastes as well, which naturally contain other ingredients too. There are many types of toothpastes, and depending on what you need the most, you can choose the ones made especially for sensitive teeth, for bad breath, for teeth whitening, to prevent gingivitis, and even ensuring extra cavity protection. Besides these ingredients toothpastes often contain vitamins, water softeners, coloring thickeners, herbs, calcium and so on.
Even though most of the toothpastes are so nice looking and tasty, they can cause unpleasant sensations. Sometimes there are harmful ingredients in toothpastes; active agents that can irritate your gums or cause allergic reactions, especially if you have sensitive gums and teeth. For example, ingredients such as the sodium lauryl sulfate, which kill bacteria and dissolve plaque, can irritate the oral membranes. There’s also tetrasodium pyrophosphate, which prevents the formation of tartar, but can also cause irritations and sensitivity. Abrasives such as the calcium phosphate (chalk) and alumina can be dangerous because they can react with other chemical ingredients. In recent years however, some of these toothpaste ingredients were replaced by others in order to prevent such unpleasant surprises.